An impressive Victorian parcel-gilt silver cup and cover by Hancocks & Co, London 1872

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Lot 100
An impressive Victorian parcel-gilt silver cup and cover
by Hancocks & Co, London 1872

Sold for £ 22,500 (US$ 28,972) inc. premium
Other Properties
An impressive Victorian parcel-gilt silver cup and cover
by Hancocks & Co, London 1872
Vase form, the cover surmounted by the figure of Nike, the two handles supported by twin-tailed mermaids, the body with two cameo scenes, the first of Perseus rescuing Andromeda, the other of the foundation of Athens with Athena and the olive tree and Neptune creating a spring by thrusting his trident into the ground, the whole richly embossed and chased with floral and foliate ornament, length 86.5cm, weight 236oz.

Footnotes

  • The design for the current lot originates from the Goodwood Chesterfield Cup of 1866. The drawing of it from the Illustrated London News (18th August 1866) shows it to be almost identical, differing in a few aspects such as the absent mermaids by the handles, and the plinth (see fig. 1). The accompanying text describes it thus:
    'It is a large silver vase manufactured by Messrs. C. F. Hancock, Son, & Co. It is oval shaped, with Greco-Etruscan handle, and surmounted by a winged figure of Victory, holding a palm-leaf in one hand and a laurel crown in the other. On each side is a medallion, one representing Perseus riding on the winged hrose Pegasus to liberate the captive Andromeda; the other, Neptune creating the horse by striking the ground with his trident. These medallions and the statuette were designed and modelled by Signor Monti...The rich ornamentation of the neck, handles and other parts was designed by Mr. Owen Jones.'

    The following year, what is described as the 'Goodwood Cup, 1866' is illustrated in The Art-Journal Catalogue of The Paris Universal Exhibition 1867 where the cup now includes the mermaids by the handles (fig. 2); it may be that it was felt the aesthetic balance of the piece was improved by the addition. Indeed, Hancocks received a gold medal for their pieces in the Exhibition that year.
    A very similar cup and cover was exhibited by Hancocks later in the 1871 London Exhibition (fig. 3). On this example the cover finial is different, and the two main scenes (also by Monti) depict the signing of the Magna Carta: a fitting subject, as the cup is described as a testimonial to a Member of Parliament from his constituents.

    Raffaele Monti (1818–1881) was an Italian sculptor who studied under his father at the Imperial Academy. He travelled to and settled in England in 1846, and exhibited at the Royal Academy.

    Owen Jones (1809-1874) was an English/Welsh architect and designer. He was responsible for the interior decoration of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and in 1856 published his seminal work The Grammar of Ornament.
Contacts
An impressive Victorian parcel-gilt silver cup and cover by Hancocks & Co, London 1872
An impressive Victorian parcel-gilt silver cup and cover by Hancocks & Co, London 1872
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